Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Miracle of Protection

As I stepped into the street, after exiting the store, and headed towards the parking lot, a sudden gush of wind lifted the large, flattened boxes out of my shopping cart and slammed one of them into my face. Clink! One of the lenses fell out of my glasses and hit the ground. I ran after the boxes before the wind blew them away, and then my husband and I searched the pavement for the missing lens. We couldn’t find it.

Two people exited the store –- the Hispanic pastor and his wife that we had talked to while standing in line. They joined in the search, and the four of us kept looking and looking. Finally, my husband suggested I take the shopping cart with the boxes to the car, because they kept trying to blow out of the cart, and he and the two others would continue to search. As I turned, the pastor’s wife shouted, “I see it!” She bent down to a spot right next to my foot and picked up the lens. When she handed it to me, I had a strong feeling that she had been praying to find it.

Back at home, I carefully inspected the lens. It was in perfect condition – NOT a scratch on it. After wiping it clean, my husband popped the lens back into the frame and tightened the screw. The screw had surprisingly remained attached to the frame. It was then that I remember that the whole time we were looking for the lens, not a single car was on the normally busy road in front of the store. It wasn’t until the pastor’s wife slipped the lens into my hand that traffic started coming and we had to step out of the way. 

The Lord God not only protected my face and my glasses when the box slammed into me, but also kept back the traffic until we found the missing lens. And HE kept the lens from getting scratched. What an amazing God, Jesus Christ is! HE promises to watch over and protect those who trust in HIM, and HE did!

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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Miracle of Provision

Curating an art show is something I had never done before -- especially one where 25 frames needed to be purchased. Frames can be quite costly, even with discount coupons. Since coupons can only be used one-at-a-time, I expected many trips to different stores over the course of a week. But to my surprise, the Lord had something different in mind.

Before venturing out, I prayed over the list of frames that were needed, thanked Jesus Christ that HE was my Provider, and gave the task of finding the various quantities and different sizes to HIM. Then I asked the Lord what were the magnificent plans HE had for that day that HE wanted me to step into. I felt deep within that I should delight myself in the Lord and HE would give me the desires of my heart. Then the words, “Watch! See! See what the Lord does! You will be amazed!” popped into my mind.

My daughter volunteered to help me shop. Since we had only planned on getting some of the frames that day, I had a limited amount of money with me. We arrived at the first store and made our way to the back, where the frames were displayed. A huge sign, “Buy three frames for the price of one -- TODAY only!” greeted us. I couldn’t believe my eyes! This was incredible! We found every frame we needed, loaded them into two shopping carts, and purchased them for less than the money I had with me. And this was all done in one trip to one store! Thank you, Lord Jesus! You are an amazing God!

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Bone Spur Miracle

Hiking through the woods with my husband is always pleasant, and today’s walk was no different. On the way back to the car, I stopped to take some pictures as he continued walking. The sun shining through the trees made great shots, so I kept snapping photos. When I looked down the path, my husband was no longer in sight, so I hurried to catch up. As I rounded the curve, the path sloped to the right. I was in too much of a hurry to notice. As I stepped on the uneven ground, my ankle twisted outward. The Lord must have sent His angels to catch me, because I didn’t fall over. But pain radiated from my ankle.

Assuming it was just a bad sprain, I waited a few days for it to get better. The swelling decreased, but the bruising increased. Finally, I went to the doctor only to discover that a bone was fractured. 

A few years earlier, I had badly sprained the other ankle and when the x-ray was taken, bone spurs (osteoarthritis) showed up on the x-ray. The doctor had told me that this happens to older people and it was probably on all my bones. I expected to see bone spurs on the x-ray this time, too, but when the doctor showed me a close up photo of my ankle bones, they were spur-free and healthy-looking, except for the spot that was fractured. That’s when I remember that I had asked one of the elders at church for prayer about the bone spurs, and the two of us took authority over the disease and commanded the bone spurs to leave in the name of Jesus. This newer x-ray showed that the Lord had answered that prayer. Praise be to Jesus Christ, who gives us the authority to walk in HIS ways!
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Friday, August 7, 2015

The Miracle of God’s Wonder

Upon opening the curtains early this morning, stillness and quietude greeted me. There was no breeze, the trees were standing in reverent silence, and the clouds barely moved across the sky. It felt like an invitation to be still and know that God is God.

So I sat on the floor to be closer to the opened window and feel the fresh air seeping in. Words to a poem came to mind. As I finished writing the last line and looked outside, shades of pastel pink highlighted the clouds. I felt the warm smile of Jesus Christ. It was like Him saying, “Out of stillness in ME, comes rest and beauty.”

Desiring to step into the beauty of His wonder, I found my shoes, grabbed my camera, and dashed outside. How glorious was the huge, colorful sky! Strokes of pink daubed each cloud. These strokes were brilliantly placed to emphasize God’s delight in painting the sky to give us a joyful, dramatic, “Welcome to a new day,” sky show! 

How spectacular is the Lord our God, who places beauty in the sky, on the land, and at sea, and then invites us to enjoy and take part in what He created!

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Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Miracle of the Roaring Train

When the Lord, Jesus Christ, calls us to do something, and we step out in doing it, HE does amazing, and sometimes miraculous things.

On the opening night of the 2015 Karitos Christian Arts Conference Retreat, I gave a short, 10-minute presentation, using images that were projected on a huge screen that took up most of the stage. In preparation for this presentation, the Holy Spirit impressed upon me to use a piece of train art for the last slide. Then HE led me to add movement to the train art, and while it was being shown, to release words HE had given me several years earlier. 

When I came to the part, “Unleash the Holy Spirit within you! Yield to God’s ways and you will hear the rumble and roar of Heaven…” a train zoomed past Barrows Auditorium. People inside heard its rumble and roar. Even the stage manager stopped the presentation momentarily, to rejoice in what the Lord just did, and to make sure everyone knew that the noise they just heard was the train rushing by!

So when the Lord God asks you to do something, don’t be afraid to step out. If sound effects are needed, HE will add them! And if God wants a part of the presentation to be emphasized, HE will do that too! 

All honor and glory and praise to Jesus Christ!

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Miracle of God Providing a Way

One day, the Lord put on my heart not to draw what I saw realistically, but to capture the essence of the subject being drawn. This sounded wonderful, and I was excited about receiving insight from the Holy Spirit. But then the realization came, that I had no idea how to do this.
    Four years later, at the one of the Karitos Christian Arts Conferences, I attended a class about capturing the essence of what we draw. It was so eye-opening and marvelous. I sketched a rose with charcoal in a new way and the result made the flower look more alive than if I had drawn every detail.
    This was a miracle! The Lord had provided a way for me to grasp the wisdom HE had given me. It took my art, and the way I view art, to a whole new level. Thank you, Lord Jesus Christ.

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Unexpected Miracle

My shoulder starting hurting as I packed books, art and other things to use at a presentation at Cyrus Ministries. Did I re-injure the shoulder? There was no time to think about this question. It was time to leave. So I hopped in the car and set off to share what the Lord had given me.

As I drove out to the ministry center, excitement and anticipation rose in my heart. I wanted to see what the Holy Spirit would do. God was the person in charge, and Jesus had given me the calling of encouraging people and showing them His Love through art and words. I love seeing how the Holy Spirit touches people’s hearts. This is my favorite part. But this time there was a greater excitement in my heart. At the end of the presentation, I would be doing something new -- leading the attendees in declaring God’s Scripture promise aloud. When people stand on God’s Word, something always happens. So I was asking for and expecting to see a physical healing in someone.

The presentation went well, and a few people shared that they could feel the Holy Spirit doing something deep within them as they prayed Scripture. Another person shared that the Lord placed hope in her heart. But no one mentioned any physical healing.

After I got home and unpacked the car, I discovered that Jesus Christ has a sense of humor. My shoulder no longer hurt. The Holy Spirit did do a physical healing -- HE had healed my shoulder! Praise the Lord!  

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Miracle of a Pain Free Hip

A few weeks ago, during the sermon at church, I could feel cool air blowing on my right hip. At first it didn’t bother me, but then my hip started to get stiff and sore. I tried to cover it with my lightweight jacket, but that didn’t help. By the time the sermon ended, the hip was getting painful.

Then the pastor did something different. He asked us to stand up and agree with God’s Word in Isaiah 53 that says by Christ’s stripes we are healed. He told us to place our hands anywhere on our body that needed healing. And then he led us in a beautiful praise and proclamation of Scriptural truth. With excitement he asked, “Did anyone receive a healing?” One lady raised her hand excitedly, and with tears of joy, gave a testimony of being healed.

Then the pastor asked, “Did anyone feel improvement of any kind?” My hip felt less stiff and less sore, so I raised my hand. He asked every person who felt some kind of improvement to step forward, even if it was only a little bit better. We did, and he told us to claim God’s promise of healing in Scripture and walk around. And as I did the pain in my hip disappeared and all stiffness vanished!

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Friday, April 3, 2015

The Miracle of Being Set Free From Exhaustion

The month of March was wonderfully exciting, but extremely hectic. Three events, outside of my normal busy schedule, took place, and all of them required hours of preparation. By the time they were over, I was physically exhausted. Even though I rested on Sunday, the three days that followed it required a slower pace and resting in-between activities.

When Wednesday evening arrived, I didn’t even set the alarm clock. I had reasoned that my body would need more sleep. But God had different plans. Early Thursday morning, I woke up feeling the gentle peace of Jesus Christ in the room. HE placed an image in my mind of two interlocking rings that represented HIM living in me and me living in HIM. Then HE invited me to ponder on this mystery. As I thought about it, I could sense the sweetness of HIS Love. So I got up, went into the other room, drew two interlocking rings and wrote down what came to mind. It was a beautiful way to start the day by dwelling on Christ and then resting in the knowledge of HIM being near.

Later that day, I realized a miracle had happened. All the exhaustion that had plagued my body was gone! And I was able to attend a special event that evening – a Seder Dinner and Passover Celebration. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for healing my weary body.

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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Knee Miracle

For several months, my knees ached during the night if I slept in one position too long. I would feel the pain in my sleep and then roll over. One morning, the left knee felt particularly odd. I had no problem walking across the floor. But when I placed my weight on the leg to go down the steps, it hurt like crazy, and attempting to come back up the steps was even more painful. This was a problem because most days I go up and down the steps frequently, from the kitchen to the upstairs bathroom, and from my computer and work area downstairs to the supplies stored upstairs.

I praised the Lord, because HE had work for me to do and because my work required using my knees, and then tried to go through the daily routine. But it soon became clear that the knee needed no pressure on it from tackling the steps. So I sat, stood or walked gently as much as possible.

The knee slowly improved over the next few days, but still gave me problems on Sunday. So after the church service ended, I approached the prayer team. Two wonderful ladies prayed not only for the sore knee, but also for both knees and against the bone spurs that showed up on an x-ray of a sprained ankle a year earlier. One of the ladies said she saw an image of me leaping for joy! How exciting! My bones would be rejoicing in Jesus!

Over the next two days, the Lord healed my sore knee completely, and also enabled me to sleep with no ache in the knees during the night. Alleluia! Praise Jesus Christ! By HIS strips we are healed.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Miracle of Answered Prayer

Taking a class in paper collage opened a new door for me. At first, I found it fascinating, but wasn’t happy with the piece of art I created. So at home, I experimented with making different effects from small pieces of paper that I tore out of magazine photos. Transitioning one set of colors into another became fun, and the more I played with the paper and glue, the more I saw the potential for this technique to become a fun workshop to share with others. So in January I offered a “Growing your Faith through Art” workshop using torn paper.

One of the local galleries was offering a paper competition in March. It was a juried show, and I wondered if I would have time to create a piece of art before the deadline. My schedule was too tight, so I asked the Holy Spirit to help me create something beautiful during the workshop that I would be teaching in January. The workshop started, and I showed the attendees various ways to work with torn paper. They dove into the project with eagerness. Then I started making a piece of art, along with them. After they finished their art and went home, I was surprised at the way my picture was turning out, and decided to continue working on it – refining it, redoing sections, and adding new things. 

After it dried, I showed it to my husband, and he liked it. Different people who stopped by the house also made positive comments about it. So I decided to enter it into the paper competition. Two weeks later, I received an email saying it was accepted! Thank you, Holy Spirit, for enabling me to come up with an acceptable piece of art during the only time slot that I had to work on it. To me, this was a miracle!

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Monday, January 19, 2015

The Miracle that Resulted from Reading a Story

Three wonderful, unexpected people stopped by our house. We offered them something to eat and drink, and a lively discussion began between two of them. The third person felt left out. She looked like she was getting ready to leave. I invited everyone to stay and listen to my husband, Paul Lloyd, read from his novel, “Fulfillment.” He is a professional author and speaker, so I knew our friends would enjoy his reading. 

We migrated from the kitchen to the family room, and Paul began to read part of the first chapter in front of the fireplace, where a nice fire was warming up the room. Immediately, the guests noticed that Paul knew when to place emotion into the story and how to emphasize sentences that tickled the listener’s ears. Peace and joy descended upon the room as Paul read his unusual and delightful scenario of how a teenage girl might respond, when Mary encountered the angel in the Christmas story. 

When he finished, an interesting dialogue ensued. Everyone shared their thoughts, which then led to further discussions. Soon, our company realized they had a lot in common not only with us, but also with each other. We had a marvelous evening together, and no one was in any hurry to leave.

Thank you, Holy Spirit, for the miracle of being united in Christ’s love, as Paul shared the love of God in his novel. Thank you for bringing people together who thought they had nothing in common, only to discover they shared the same deep concerns, and experienced some of the same trials. Thank you for expanding circles of friends, and the joy that emerged when we honored your name.

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Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Miracle of Painting in the Dark

It was exciting to have the opportunity to do a piece of prophetic art at church the Sunday before Christmas. Three other artists would also be painting in various sections of the large sanctuary. And since I would be off to the side and near the front, my painting needed to be big enough to be seen from across the room. Although I had done prophetic worship art before, it was my first time painting at Living Stone Christian Church.

God is faithful when we trust Him, so when I sought the Lord for wisdom, direction, and what image Jesus wanted me to paint, the Holy Spirit placed a wonderful idea in my head. As I sketched it out, it became apparent that the 24" x 36" painting needed to be worked on ahead of time, so I could finish it during the 45-minute worship and drama time.

When Sunday morning arrived, I made sure I was at church early enough to set things up. As the music began, I picked up the paintbrush and started to fill in the sections that needed to be completed. With joy and enthusiasm, I painted in an atmosphere of lively worship, letting images of dancing trees emerge from the background. This was such a fun way to worship Christ, using the art talent HE had given me.

Then the drama started, and that’s when something unexpected happened. The lights went out. I waited for them to come back on again, only to discover that a spotlight would be used to highlight the actors, while the rest of the sanctuary remained dark. It was then that I remembered something about the drama director mentioning that I should bring a light. Why hadn’t I paid more attention to her words?

It was too late to find a light to paint by, so I asked the Holy Spirit for help. As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I noticed that the white spots on the canvas, where the holly leaves needed to be filled in, were slightly visible. Since the palette of green paint was already in one hand, the paintbrush in the other, I aimed for the white spots, trusting the Lord to guide my hand. When the lights came back on, all the holly leaves were finished. I quickly rinsed the brush, added more yellow ochre to the rock, threw golden glitter on it, and quietly slipped out of the sanctuary.

As I was washing out the paintbrushes, my heart was filled with joy because of what the Holy Spirit had done. HE gave me the idea, guided me along the way, and prompted me ahead of time to outline the holly leaves, knowing that the lights would go out, and then HE enabling me to paint in the dark. All honor, glory, and praise to the Lord God Most High! Thank you, Jesus Christ, for this opportunity to see your Hand at work and to paint for You.

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